News / Europe

US Apologizes Over EU Ukraine ‘Insult’

US Apologizes to EU Over Ukraine 'Insult'i
X
February 08, 2014 4:28 PM
Top US diplomat Victoria Nuland has apologized to the European Union after using an expletive to describe what should happen to the EU because of what she considers its passive role in Ukraine. Her comments came in a phone call that was intercepted and posted on the internet in Russia. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
US Apologizes to EU Over Ukraine 'Insult'
Henry Ridgwell
A senior U.S. State Department official, Victoria Nuland, has apologized to the European Union after using an expletive while discussing the EU's diplomatic role in Ukraine's political conflict. Her controversial comment became public in an Internet video of an intercepted phone call. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Assistant Secretary of State Nuland was in Ukraine this week to meet President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition figures, as the standoff there between the government and protesters continues.

In a phone call that was apparently bugged and posted on the Internet, Nuland scoffed at the European Union's position to her colleague, U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt.

“… that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and to have the U.N. help glue it, and, you know, [expletive - beeped out] the EU,” she said.

  • Anti-government protesters sing the national anthem as they gather at a barricade, central Kyiv, Feb. 19, 2014.
  • An anti-government protester throws a Molotov cocktail during clashes with riot police, Independence Square, Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 19, 2014.
  • A woman carries sandwiches as anti-government protesters gather in Independence Square, central Kyiv, Feb. 19, 2014.
  • An anti-government protester stands behind a barricade during clashes with riot police in Independence Square, Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 19, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters gather in Independence Square in central Kyiv, Feb. 19, 2014.
  • A man who was injured during clashes between anti-government protesters, Interior Ministry members and riot police receives medical treatment inside Mikhailovsky Zlatoverkhy Cathedral (St. Michael's golden-domed cathedral), Kyiv, Feb. 19, 2014.
  • Riot police officers spray anti-government protesters with water in Independence Square in central Kyiv, Feb. 19, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters throw stones towards Interior Ministry officers during a rally, near Parliament, in Kyiv, Feb. 18, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters throw stones at the office of the pro-presidential Party of the Regions, Kyiv, Feb. 18, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters escort an unidentified man after attacking an office of the pro-presidential Party of the Regions, Kyiv, Feb. 18, 2014.
  • A woman carries stones during clashes between anti-government protesters and Interior Ministry members, Kyiv, Feb. 18, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters burn the Party of the Regions flags, calendars and booklets during a rally, Kyiv, Feb. 18, 2014.

Knocking Klitschko

In another excerpt, Nuland appears to suggest one of the Ukrainian opposition leaders, Vitaly Klitschko, should not be included in any future government.

“So I don’t think Klitsch should go into the government. I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t think it’s a good idea,” she said.

The assistant secretary of state later apologized to the EU but declined to answer reporters’ questions on the phone call. She did however, describe the apparent bugging as "pretty good tradecraft." U.S. officials have implied Russia may be involved in leaking the recording.

Responding to the leaked remarks, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Nuland’s comment on the behavior of Europeans is unacceptable. He added, "There is no space for criticisms about our conduct regarding Ukraine. Our attitude is very cautious and well thought. There is room for discussion about sanctions, and we are carrying these discussions on."

The protests in Ukraine erupted in November after President Yanukovych pulled out of a trade deal with the EU, opting instead to sign a loan and energy agreement with Russia.

Mixed reaction

Since then, politicians from the United States and the European Union have visited Kyiv several times. The Western allies had appeared to be working in tandem, says Ian Bond of the Center for European Reform, a policy institute in London.

“It seems to me that the EU has actually done a pretty good job in Ukraine so far and that on the whole the EU and the U.S. have worked together quite well. But I suspect that for many American diplomats the problem with the EU is that it works very slowly.”

On the streets of Brussels there was a mixed reaction to the diplomatic dispute.

Resident Fiona Chevalier said that as a European citizen, she feels frustrated. “It saddens me that the United States has such a low image of Europe,” she said.

Brussels resident Marc Botenga said the contempt for the European Union was not a surprise. But, he said, it's not very democratic to discuss what the government of another country should be.

The original Internet posting of the phone call has been traced to Russia.

Moscow denies intercepting the communication. But analysts say the leak will do little to improve the already frosty relations between the Kremlin and the West.

You May Like

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving

Feasts centering on turkeys with an array of traditional sides and desserts are part of the holiday's traditions, which falls on the fourth Thursday in November More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF2 from: Great North (Canada)
February 09, 2014 3:46 PM
The bureaucrats of the EU and their head of states have their fingers in every conflict, they stoke people's hopes, and then they abandon them. The situation in the Ukraine is no different than in many other countries in Europe, including countries inside of the EU. Many of these countries are on the edge of economic collapse, most of the unrest observed is caused by economic downturns; we see the sit in Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia Herzegovina, etc all of then seating on a very fine knife edge, ready to go over into total collapse, followed by massive social violence. An what is the EU and its bureaucreats doing about it? not much, but propagandizing how good it would be for all of them under the EU membership. The EU should take significant actions to help the poorer countries already in the EU, and stop encouraging more under-developed economically countries to somehow join the EU. The record of the EU in enhancing the economies of poor EU members is very poor. Just look at the poor record of the EU's Bosnia-Herzegovina IC. No wonder many are pointing the finger at the EU, rightly,so, in my view. The EU needs to fix: Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia Herzegovina, etc.. before the people turn to violence due to lack of work/food/heat/... basic needs.


by: Carnac The Magnificent from: USA
February 08, 2014 4:47 PM
Now the European Union is bitching about that!? What about bugging our diplomats phone? You all raised so much hell about us doing it to you, well this is what you deserve and I agree with our diplomat, and to hell with you as well.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid